What’s It Like to Live in Rayong as an Expat? 

What’s It Like to Live in Rayong as an Expat? 

Have you heard of Rayong?

It’s an underrated city that many expats only know of from its many industrial estates.

Actually, Rayong is another good city to live in. It offers everything you need, from a good city life to outdoor activities.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what it’s like to live in Rayong as an expat.

"*" indicates required fields

Get your FREE Thailand Cheat Sheet ​by entering your email below. The ​Sheet, based on ​our experience with living and working in ​Thailand for 10+ years, shows you how to ​save time and money and ​gives you the tools the thrive in Thailand.

Disclaimer: This article may include links to products or services offered by ExpatDen’s partners, which give us commissions when you click on them. Although this may influence how they appear in the text, we only recommend solutions that we would use in your situation. Read more in our Advertising Disclosure.

More About Rayong

Rayong is a province with a long coastline located in the East of Thailand. It’s next to Chon Buri and takes around 2 hours to drive from Bangkok.

According to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), Rayong has had the highest gross provincial product (GPP) in Thailand for more than 10 years in a row.

It’s even higher than Bangkok and Phuket.

This basically means that Rayong is the richest province in Thailand because of many reasons.

  • Rayong is an industrial province with many industrial parks, including:
    • Amata City Industrial Estate
    • Pinthong Industrial Estate
    • Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate
    • Maptaphud Industrial Estate
    • WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate
  • Rayong is also a popular tourism province with many places to visit, including Koh Samed.
  • The fishing industry in Rayong is very large.
  • Fruit markets in Rayong are huge, especially durians.

Because of this, Rayong is one of the most developed provinces in Thailand. Roads are well developed no matter where you go.

There are all the facilities you need to live here, from international hospitals, supermarkets, and shopping malls to international restaurants and nightlife activities.

Quality of Life

The overall quality of life in Rayong is very good.

Rayong offers a great combination of working and relaxing lifestyles, making it easy to maintain a work-life balance here.

Being the richest city in Thailand in terms of GPP, there are a lot of nice cafes and restaurants in Rayong.

beach in Rayong
While beaches in Rayong may not be as beautiful as in the Southern parts of Thailand, the city has all facilities you need to live in Thailand comfortably. In addition, sea-view apartments are also much more affordable.

If you need a good place to exercise after work, many gated communities have a running track where you can jog next to your home.

Shopping malls, hospitals, gyms, night markets, and shops are all located within the same area. In addition to well-maintained roads and light traffic, you can easily go from place to place within a 10-15 minute drive, except when you want to go outside the city.

If you want to go shopping, there is Central Rayong and Makro, which should have everything you need for your daily life.

Air quality is also good most times of the year.

Since Rayong has a very long beach, you can easily find an apartment with a sea view. And the price is still more affordable than those in places like Pattaya or Phuket.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Rayong is comparable to Bangkok. While the rental cost is slightly lower, food in Rayong can be more expensive than in Bangkok.

Here’s how much you need to live in Rayong for a simple life on average:

  • Normal meal like a bowl of noodles – 70 baht per meal
  • A studio condo in a city area – 8,000 baht per month
  • Transportation: 50-60 baht for a trip less than 5 km
  • Daytrip: 500 baht to 1,000 baht per trip

In total, you need to have at least 30,000 baht to start a life here. If you want to live a comfortable life, it should be around 50,000 baht.

For locals, many people can live here for 20,000 baht a month.

Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation options in Rayong.

You can rent a house in a gated community with a big space for you and your family. You can live in an apartment with an amazing sea view.

You can find a place in the city area. All the facilities you need are within a 10-minute drive. Or you can live outside of the city for a very cheap price with a big space to do your own farming but still access good facilities within an hour’s drive.

Food

I found food prices in Rayong to be more expensive than in many cities in Thailand. However, the quality is normally better as well.

For example, a normal meal, like a bowl of noodles, here starts at 60 baht. But the portion is bigger with better quality than in a province like Bangkok.

Rayong is also known for seafood.

There are many affordable seafood restaurants in Saeng Chan beach and Mae Ramphueng beach. There’s also a big fresh seafood market in Ban Phe.

Night seafood stalls in Sang Chan beach.
Due to the nature of thDue to the nature of the city, many people enjoy a good seafood meal by the beach in the evening before going back home.

When it comes to Western food, you can find many types of Western restaurants in the city area. While the number of Western restaurants can’t be compared to those in Pattaya, Phuket, or Bangkok, most of them have good quality.

In addition, Rayong has many fruit farms. When you live here, you can enjoy eating fresh fruits throughout the year. Popular fruits from Rayong include durians, mangosteens, and rambutans.

Beach

Rayong has a very long coastline. If you live here, most of the time, you can go to a beach within 15 minutes.

However, beaches in Rayong aren’t as beautiful as those in the southern part of Thailand, like Phuket or Koh Samui. But they are much more peaceful and good for relaxing.

People

Rayong people are quite friendly and well-educated.

Since Rayong has many industrial estates, it’s good for running a business. You can see many business owners from various parts of Thailand who move to Rayong and run their businesses here.

So, it’s possible to live here even if your Thai language skills are still limited. Many people here, especially in tourism or city areas, can speak English.

However, to live in Thailand long-term, you should still learn some Thai. It not only helps you live in Thailand much easier but also helps you connect with the country even more and make your life in Thailand more fruitful.

Healthcare

When it comes to healthcare in Rayong, it can be a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.

Here’s the good thing: Bangkok Hospital Rayong is the leading private hospital here. Treatment quality and facilities are among the top in the country.

Here’s the bad thing: the cost of treatment is generally higher than other private hospitals.

Aside from Bangkok Hospital Rayong, there are other hospitals here. But the treatment quality may not be that good.

So, if you want to live in Rayong, it can be a good idea to get health insurance so you won’t need to worry about breaking your bank when something serious happens.

Also, you can find many dentists, pharmacies, and clinics in Rayong.

Job Opportunities

Job opportunities in Rayong for expats are mainly in the industrial industry.

Since there are many industrial estates here, there are a lot of job openings for engineering, factory management, and logistics.

There are also some teaching jobs and hotel positions available here as well.

Activities

There are so many things you can do in Rayong with a wide range of water activities, including surfing, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

In addition to that, you can walk along the night market and eat local street food.

You can go to many fruit gardens and enjoy a day tour over there.

You can raft down a river mouth and watch hawks at sunset.

events at Central Rayong
If you want to go shopping, Central Rayong is just a few minutes away. And they also have regular events over there.

You can camp on a mountainside.

You can go to a botanical garden and spend your whole day kayaking and cycling.

If you want a city life, you can go to Central Rayong for shopping and watching movies.

Nightlife

If you love partying at night, Rayong might not be a good place for you.

Rayong has limited nightlife activity due to the nature of people living here. As mentioned earlier, many people come to Rayong for work and business. Then, they enjoy a good restaurant in the evening and go back home.

Nightlife activities are limited to Rajbumrung Road in the city area and Koh Samed.

Education and Family Life

If you have kids, you should be happy to know that Rayong is a good province for raising a family.

You can rent a house with plenty of space for your kids at a good price. There are many family-friendly activities you can take your kids to during weekends.

In addition to that, there are international schools here including Singapore International School Rayong and Garden International School Rayong.

If your child can speak some Thai, you can send them to study in Assumption Rayong School, which is one of the leading private schools in Thailand.

Advertisement

Transportation

When you live in Rayong, having your own car or motorcycle is the best way to get around.

Rayong has really good road conditions. And traffic isn’t heavy at all, making it very easy to drive a car here.

road in Rayong
While you should have your own car to live here, it’s very easy to drive in Rayong since the roads are spacious and in good condition. Traffic is also light most of the time.

In addition to that, there are many gas stations throughout the city.

On the other hand, if you don’t have your own means of transportation, getting around Rayong can be a challenge due to a limited number of public transportation options.

There’s only Songthaew on the main road. Other than that, you need to use a ride-sharing app such as Grab to get around here.

Weather

Being a coastal city, Rayong can be hot and humid throughout the year, with occasional heavy rainfall during the rainy season between June and October.

According to the Thai Meteorological Department, Rayong has an average temperature throughout the year of 28.4 degrees Celsius (83.12 degrees Fahrenheit).

Air Pollution

Like many cities in Thailand, Rayong also regularly has an air pollution problem in January to February of every year, with an average AQI of 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³, as stated on IQAir.com.

However, these two months are also the only time of the year Rayong has an air pollution problem. For other months, the air quality is quite good thanks to the sea breeze.

Expat Communities

Rayong is not popular among expats yet. So, the expat communities here are still quite small.

Based on my observation, there are mainly three types of expats that live in Rayong:

  • Retirees who want to live a quiet life by the sea
  • Those who marry a Thai national and raise a family here
  • Those who get a job at one of the industrial estates

However, as the city expands, it’s expected that more expats will be moving to Rayong in the near future.

Here’s a list of popular neighborhoods in Rayong:

  • City Area
  • Mae Ram Phueng Beach
  • Koh Samed

City Area

This is the most popular neighborhood in Rayong. You can find all of the available facilities and great restaurants here within a 10-minute drive. If you want to go to a beach, it’s just 5 minutes.

There are also many seaside condominiums here in Suchada Beach and Saeng Chan Beach.

However, the beach here isn’t as beautiful as other areas in Rayong.

Mae Ram Phueng Beach

Mae Ram Phueng Beach is about 25 minutes away from the city area. It has a beautiful beach and a relaxing atmosphere, making it a popular destination for retirees.

Suan Son beach in Rayong.
Suan Son beach is located around 15 minutes away from Mae Ram Phueng Beach. And you can find many nice seabeach restaurants there.

In addition, seaside apartments here are much cheaper than in the city area. It’s possible to buy a seaside studio condo here for less than 2 million baht.

Koh Samed

Koh Samed is one of the most popular islands in the East of Thailand, known for its lovely atmosphere at night and beautiful beach.

Since it’s a small island, Koh Samed is suitable for a short-time vacation rather than a long-term stay.

Should I Live in Rayong?

To summarize, here’s a quick list of pros and cons for living in Rayong.

Pros:

  • It’s a province that gives you a great work-life balance.
  • You can find most of the things you need for your daily life within a 10-minute drive if you live in the city area.
  • There are plenty of activities you can do, from sea activities to hiking and shopping.
  • While food prices can be a bit higher than in many provinces, quality and taste are great with plenty of seafood, fruits, and Thai dishes.
  • Seaside apartments are still much more affordable than in many cities.
  • It’s a good city to raise a family.
  • Plenty of job opportunities in industrial parks.

Cons:

  • Cost of living can be a bit higher than in many places in Thailand.
  • Limited choices of hospitals.
  • You need your own car or motorcycle to get around.
  • Air pollution can be a problem sometimes.
  • Expat communities are quite small.

Because of these reasons, in our opinion, Rayong is a good place if you want to:

  • Live in a city with a good work-life balance. But you may need to have your own business or do online work.
  • Retire in a quiet atmosphere but still want to have access to good facilities and healthcare.
  • Raise a family in Thailand.
  • Work in an industrial park.
Avatar photo
Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.